A hiker trying to summit a 13,000-foot ridge in the Colorado Rockies last Wednesday was wearing just a cotton hoodie when a severe snowstorm came out of nowhere. With no food, water, phone reception, or extra clothing, the stranded hiker, whose name was not disclosed, was rescued seven hours later "in a fetal position covered in snow," according to the Chaffee County Search and Rescue North's Facebook page.
After discovering the near-frozen hiker at 2am, it took another three hours to warm the hiker up before attempting to help them down. By using ropes along with human assistance, the hiker finally made the two-hour descent and was greeted at the bottom by an ambulance.
From NBC News:
The "unprepared" hiker had no way to warm themselves, according to the statement.
"With darkness approaching and hypothermia setting in the individual decided, rather than take the same way down, the best plan was to bail down an avalanche chute to try to get to a road," officials said.
The hiker had a phone, but authorities could not obtain GPS information from it after learning of the situation about 7 p.m., according to the statement. A 25-person team was sent out, knowing only that the hiker was in an avalanche chute east of Cottonwood Lake.
The team spotted what appeared to be footprints in around 6 to 8 inches of snow and followed them until they came upon what they thought was "an unusual looking rock" at 2 a.m., according to the statement.
"Upon further investigation it was determined it was not a rock but the subject sitting upright in a fetal position covered in snow," officials said.
The Chaffee County Search and Rescue North reminds hikers to always pack the "10 Essentials" before a serious hike no matter what the weather is: navigation (map and gps), sun protection, insulation (as in gloves, hat, jacket, etc.), flashlight, first aid kit, matches or lighter, repair kit/tools, food, and water.